User Interface & Operating System
The Lumia 830 was the first smartphone to be released with Windows 8.1 and Lumia Denim out of the box - with the OS upgrade rolled out to all WP8 devices. In the update 1, Microsoft adds customizable snooze alarms, folder support, Cortana support in UK and China, among some other back end improvements. The Lumia Denim gives a performance boost to the camera app, Moment Capture feature, Better Glance screen, Rich Capture, and others.
To start off, the Glance screen is back, and supports Bing Weather and Bing Health & Fitness apps too – though, for this you have to have these apps enabled on your lockscreen too. The Glance screen is basically a version of the lock screen, in monochrome, and the double tap to wake up option is still present.
The home screen is covered with the familiar live tiles, which can be resized too, and can have backgrounds set too, though, there are some tiles that are not transparent, filled with solid color instead, which makes the background image not work so nicely for Microsoft. The Update 1 for the Windows 8.1 now allows users the ability to create folders at the Start page, and using them is pretty easy.
Another much-awaited feature is the notification center, labeled Action Center by Microsoft. Access is similar to Android, and similar toggles and notifications are present. Notifications can be removed one by one or altogether, whichever is required. The display shows four quick access toggles by default, and these can be changed, and double tapping on toggles that have additional settings leads to accessing the settings. Still, Microsoft needs to work on this area, as this feature works with some such toggles, but not for others.
The notifications can be customized, similar to the iOS. The multitasking feature is very similar to that from iOS, suspending most of the apps once the Start key is hit, and resuming them when opened back, while keeping some of the basic apps like the Cortana and Navigation apps open in the background also, unless killed manually.
The Quiet Hours mode is present this time around again, and works its same standard magic. The newly released Files app, which allows for file management, is available for download from the store, and we feel it will soon be a part of the out-of-box package. The Find My Phone option is again a part of the release package, and has the same abilities as those on the Nokia Lumia 630.
With the IE 11 accompanying the Lumia 830, the recent enhancements made in the browser are also pulled. Some of the improvements include unlimited tab support, private browsing, passwords saving and sync, bookmark and tab sync between different devices, reader mode, and support for inline videos. Web pages can be pinned to done screens, and show up as Live Tiles, and then displays the latest page preview.
Microsoft Office, the best document viewer / editor around, is enabled for Word / Excel / PowerPoint to view and edit, and includes integration with OneDrive. OneNote is also included as the preferred tool for note taking, and has been made more powerful than before, allowing multi-level lists, sending via emails, photos and voice memos, and sync via OneDrive.
Microsoft includes the standard Calendar, Alarms, Weather and Calculator apps as part of the package. The News, Travel, Finance, Sports, Food & Drink apps are present. The Creative Studio app much talked about for advanced image modifications, the interactive diary Storyteller, and the HERE Maps and HERE Drive+ apps come packaged with the Lumia 830.
Windows 8.1 includes the Battery Saver and Storage Sense, two new apps to manage the Lumia 830 better. The Battery Saver displays the power consumption information, broken down into overall and app wise display, including battery usage tracking. The Storage Sense, as the name suggests, tracks the storage, and can be configured to specify what items are stored where.
Automatic updates for apps are now a part of the Store, and it can be pre-set use only via wi-fi or mobile data networks too for this purpose. Updates can be manually check too.
The Microsoft response to assistants has come out by the name of Cortana, which is good at voice recognition, and can help out many times during the day at different instances. The pretty decent in performance. The voice recognition is good, and support in different areas is always beneficial. Though not quite close to the Google Now, it does function similar to Siri, recognizing audio commands and questions, providing voice feedback. The Cortana needs to be personalized in the start to work better via settings labeled Notebook – these are segmented into Interests, Reminders, Quiet Hours, Inner Circle, Places and Music Searches. Cortana can help track news, find restaurants, plan trips, among other things. Reminders are included, so you do not forget important meetings, and reminders against locations, contacts and important people.
Basic cell phone functions like texting, calling, appointments management, note taking, alarm setting, music play, navigation and searches can be managed too, and toggling between settings, and answers to simple questions, traffic status, delays in bus or trains, etc. Cortana can also, on your behalf, make third party apps do actions, like calling a contact via Skype – currently, only Skype, Facebook and Twitter support this, but more are sure to follow.
The word recognition is instantaneous in Cortana, and accuracy has been taken up quite a bit towards a very good level. Cortana still has to play catch up with Siri and Google Now since they both have a decent head start, but with the pace, we feel it will soon catch up – the availability in other regions and languages will also give it a big boost.
The People Hub app is the central location for all communication with different contacts across multiple accounts, keeping all communication together – it includes social updates, Rooms and Groups. This includes chats and emails, so that is always helpful. A Me option is present to display your own updates and related information from across the social media too.
The Lumia 830 keeps up the in-call performance at a very good level. The sound is loud and clear, with no signal reception issues whatsoever. The loudspeaker also scored decently, and though not among the louder ones, it sure makes missed calls being no problem.
An interesting option which is an addition in the Windows Phone 8.1 is the Skype button in the in-call screen, which converts the call into a Skype video chat – understandably, this works only when both parties have Skype and internet connectivity.
The Messaging has the additional features to view the contact’s full details as well as Mute option, which temporarily blocks receipt notifications of all communication from that sender, though the communication will still be stored against the sender in the thread. The communication contains, in addition to messages, social media messages, Skype / Windows Live messages, all in one place. The keyboard on the Lumia 830 now have the additional feature of Wordflow - a swype-like option to enter text in a fluid movement, without the need to lift your fingers.
The generic email client coming with the Lumia 830 is also pretty decent, a strong performer and has batch operations, search and threaded displays, along with the ability to link multiple accounts together.
The Photo Hub gets a makeover moving away from the magazine-like UI favoring the traditional Windows Phone like look, with three pages, All, Albums and Favorites – no need to explain these with such names. Automatic backup is available to OneDrive once it is enabled from Settings, and it provides 15GB free, and additional 3GB per device on which this feature is enabled. Other sharing options includes Bluetooth, messaging, email, Facebook, and other social media.
The music play is the same quality performer that was present with the Nokia Lumia 630, with good audio quality, standard organization and options for equalizer. The player still does not support FLAC.
The video player too, is same as that on the Lumia 630, with the same layout, limited subtitles support, unable to support MKV and AC3, though Dolby Virtual Sound and Dolby Dialog Enhancer options are present.
An RDS supporting FM player is present on board the Lumia 830. Speaker play is possible, though headset, is required in this case since it also works as an antenna.
The Lumia 830 also has the great scores when connected with an external amplifier – clean audio with good volume – better than all non-HTC rivals, as far as we can tell. Plugging in headphones takes up the crosstalk, as is normally the patter, and frequency declines too as does the volume, but still the quality remains very good.
The Lumia 830 comes with the much talked about 10MP PureView Carl Zeiss lens camera with OIS for both videos and images, that can take pictures of up to 3520 x 2640 resolutions. The OIS improves low-light imaging, as it has a slower shutter speed.
The interface of camera is the Nokia Camera app renamed to Lumia Camera (due to the Microsoft acquisition of the division) which was present with the recently released Lumia 630 too – the interface is familiar and intuitive, with the basic settings of exposure settings, white balance, focus, shutter speed, ISO, and modes. The images that we captured were of premium quality, with great colors, perfect exposure, and good detail, with no defects found, nor were there any issues with the focus. The noise is still there, even in decent light, but the processing has been made more mature and gives out crisp images. The sharpness at corners is good, though the white balance sometimes enters the yellow and green ranges too much, but mainly it is perfect. Imaging can be done in both the 16:9 and 4:3 modes, with the 16:9 ones coming out in 3840 x 2160 (8.3 MP), and the 4:3 coming to 3520 x 2640 (9.3 MP).
The Lenses are still in place too, with the default lenses accompanying the Lumia 830 being Bing Vision, Vine and Twitter modes – a long list of additional lenses, both free and paid, are present on the Store, including, Cinemagraph, Panorama, Refocus and others.
The video recorder provides video capture at 1080p at 30fps, with a bit rate of 19Mbps consistent.The audio is AAC dual-channel at 256Kbps, and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 audio recording can be triggered too, which takes up the channels to six, under the AC3 codec with a bitrate of 384Kbps.
The interface is almost identical to that of the camera. The white balance is modifiable, so are the settings for manual focus, Audio bass filter can be managed, either turned off, or between 100 and 200Hz. The 200 Hz captures the best audio, though it is probably better suited for concerts or clubs etc.
The performance is pretty good for the recorder, similar to the case with the snapper, as is expected from a PureView camera. The detail, even in not-too-good lighting is very good, with decent detail, white balance and contrast are good, and the colors are very nicely produced. The OIS reduces the shakiness in recordings to a minimum, making the recordings look much more smooth, the panning is also a marked improvement from that on the Lumia 735.
Nokia as usual has brought into play its favored processor, the Snapdragon 400 into the fold. The processor is Cortex A-7 quad-core, performing at 1.2 GHz, with Adreno 305 (the standard package for most Nokia Windows Phones) and 1GB of RAM.
In terms of CPU, graphics and memory testing, the Lumia 830 was generally in the range of the smartphones which are Snapdragon-400 powered, which is lower and lower on the scale every day. Even the browser, Internet Explorer was no match to its competition, the likes of Chrome and Safari, in the mobile division – even though in real-life, the difference is hardly recognizable.
The overall performance of the Lumia 830 turns out to be pretty smooth, though, and with decent scores, even if there are areas that could further be improved, as the Lumia 830 was not the top of the list, not that it ever was targeted to be that, as such. The Windows 8.1 is super-fast and gives an exclusive experience, with no issues, including the Office Suite and some of the very popular games.
Talking about the connectivity in the Lumia 830, the smartphone covers the basics like GSM, 3G and also the LTE. The LTE offers 150 Mbps downlink.
The smartphone has Wi-Fi, DLNA, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS together with GLONASS and wi-fi, hotspot. NFC is available, making sharing easier, and supports the Wallet app for purchases, and if NFC tags are to be managed, an app for that can be downloaded too from the Windows Store.
Wireless media streaming to TVs, monitors or projectors can be done as an additional feature, while the internet sharing allows sharing of content via a specified id and password as a broadcaster to a select group. The back panel is wireless charging enabled, so only a charging plate is required for charging.
The 2,200 mAh battery assigned with the Lumia 830 can drive the smartphone for almost 15 hours on talktime as par as 3G is concerned, with web browsing and video playback both coming in the range of 10 hours more or less.
The Lumia 830 can endure 68 hours, meaning over two and a half days if on an hour each for calls, browsing, and movies.
The Lumia 830 we perceive, may receive mixed reaction from the market when pitted against formidable competition from market due to some drawbacks, a few of which are listed below:
- No headset, which is surprising
- The chipset has not been updated, taking the Snapdragon 400 as the favorite for Nokia
Should I Have to Buy the Nokia Lumia 830?
The Lumia 830 is one of the final releases of the world-renowned Nokia, which is soon to wear the Microsoft label in its place. Still, the Lumia 830 does manage to give the Nokia brand a decent and well-deserved send off. follows on the footsteps of the Lumia 520, with similar structuring in terms of affordability and to some extent the design also. Of course, Nokia would be hoping that the Lumia 830 follows the Lumia 520 in terms of sales too. The design, we must say, looks better with simplicity, with a slight refreshing, while being familiar and neat at the same time – and the back covers provide ample color options.
The Nokia Lumia 830 is the easily priced flagship that Nokia is portraying it as. The great performance, catered in part by part by the hardware and partly by the super smooth Windows 8.1 – a solidly built body with a metallic frame, protective glass covering and matte finish back. The display is 5 inches of classy IPS display which has ClearBlack, and the Snapdragon 400 processor to keep things in line. And how can we forget the 10MP ZEISS lens catering snapper which also has OIS. Nokia will be proud of the smartphone they have come out with.
The Lumia 830 positions Nokia very nicely in the market, living up to its potential, as we were aware that it could. With the last release of the Nokia line, this smartphone is anything but gloomy, with vivid and bright colors that we are accustomed to seeing from Nokia. Still, even if the sun has set on the brand labeled Nokia, its legacy will remain the same – strong, well-documented, and very famous. We will have to just see how Microsoft takes over and goes about the legacy.